"The Grapes of Wrath summed up its era in the way that Uncle Tom's Cabin had summed up the years of slavery before the Civil War," says Robert DeMott. The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinback, depicts the struggles and obstacles that many families had to overcome during the late 1930's. The novel tells the story of the destitute workers of the 1930's who had been driven from their farms and were pouring into California to face hunger, squalor and humiliation. The particular family in this novel, the Joad family, travels toward California along with thousands of other families in hopes of finding steady work. Along their journey, Steinback shows the harsh realities of the Great Depression. John Steinback's portrayal of the Great Depression through The Grapes of Wrath is precise and accurate in many ways such as the mentality and actions of different people during that time. .
In 1936, John Steinbeck conducted research on the families forced to move to California from Arkansas and Oklahoma. One year later, he toured the Dust Bowl and traveled with migrants on their relentless drive to California. From those experiences, he produced The Grapes of Wrath. Steinback studied every detail of what these families went through during the Depression. He often shows these minute details throughout the novel. For example, when the bank kicks the Joads off their land Steinbeck describes the arrival of the tractors. Steinback tells the audience that the .
tractor driver does his job simply out of necessity, even if it comes at the expense of dozens of families. In the novel a tractor driver is asked if he thinks it is right that nearly a hundred people have to go out and wander the roads for his three dollars a day. "Can't think of that. Got to think of my own kids. Three dollars a day, and it comes every day. Times are changing, mister," the tractor driver replies. During the Great Depression, this was the mentality of all people.